Spooky antivirus software

Judy writes:

My virus protection doesn’t seem to want to stay on. I’ve been able to turn it back on, but when I shut down and then restart my computer later, the virus protection is off again.

Is this some kind of Halloween trick?

Having a virus is no treat

Achieving 100 percent protection from viruses is like chasing a phantom, and Judy’s antivirus software might be turning off because she has a virus.

Learn more about viruses and other malicious software

Having reliable support helps remove the mystery

If your computer is running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7, Microsoft Security Essentials is available as a free download. If you’re already using it and it has unexpectedly turned off, you can uninstall it and reinstall it. And if doing that doesn’t fix the problem, you can contact support.

Learn more about Microsoft Security Essentials

Antivirus protection in Windows 8

If you’re running Windows 8, you don’t need to download Microsoft Security Essentials or install any other antivirus software. Windows Defender and Windows SmartScreen are built-in security features that provide real-time scanning to help protect your computer from viruses, spyware, and malware.  

Learn more about security in Windows 8


About the Author
Eve Blakemore

Group Manager, Trustworthy Computing

Eve Blakemore is a Group Manager for Trustworthy Computing who delivers consumer guidance around the latest trends in security and privacy. Eve joined Microsoft in 1998 and has worked in corporate and field roles with Microsoft Learning, US Public Sector, Read more »

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  1. Anonymous

    Why am I suddenly getting security alert warnings that my computer may be at risk because my virus protection isn't turned on? Every time I see this alert I check and find my protection is ON but I run an update anyway and it usually gets rid of the alert. Do I have a bad wire connection out of my wall jack or what?

  2. Anonymous

    Has anyone heard of brainbyte?

  3. Anonymous

    I am using security essentials on XP and its telling me its on but my pc says im not protected WHAT IS CAUSING THIS i find it does it when I have to restart my comuter.

  4. Anonymous

    I have Microsoft Security Essentials on my computer, and noticed that on Sunday when I had it set to a full scan at a certain time, it didn't come on – so I ran a scan manually.  We have been away for a while – the computer has been shut down &  power disconnected – did not have this problem before.   Any idea what caused this to happen?

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